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General tips
Hygiene and Safety in the kitchen

Before you start

Always wash your hands before you start cooking.

Wear an apron to reduce visits to the launderette.

Girls and Hippies, be sure to tie back that long hair.

Get all the ingredients together and weigh/measure the quantities – this way you’ll be unlikely to forget anything. Sieve icing sugar and flour before using them.

Be realistic about how much time you have – especially if you’re making food for an occasion. Don’t forget you’ll need time to set the table, and make yourself gorgeous.

Check if you need a pre-heated oven and preheat it!

As you cook

Use a chopping board for cutting up fruit and vegetables.

VERY IMPORTANT - Always wash your hands after handling raw meat and thoroughly clean your work surface, chopping board and any knives which may have come into contact with the meat.

Keep your kitchen area as tidy as possible – this will help you to feel as if you’re in control, and minimise clearing up later when you’re tired.

Keep pan handles turned away from the front of the cooker top, to prevent it accidentally being caught as you race around the kitchen.

Don’t let any pets in the kitchen when you’re cooking – both from a hygiene point of view, and safety – you might trip over them when you’re carrying something hot.

Do be creative and adapt recipes, but don’t guess too much at weights and measures – too much or too little of one ingredient can have devastating consequences!

Don’t handle food more than you have to.

Make sure you know what to do in the event of a fire in the kitchen. If you have a frying pan fire, stay calm, turn off the power, wet a tea towel with cold water, and throw it over the top of the flames. Check if there is a fire extinguisher that you know how to use it.

Make sure food is cooked through properly before serving.

LEFTOVERS - If you’re reheating leftovers in the microwave or the conventional oven – make sure food is piping hot – otherwise you run the risk of poisoning your guests or even worse yourself!

Don’t leave food lurking around in the kitchen at room temperature. If you’re not eating it, it should be in the fridge or in the bin!

Clearing up

Use hot water and the detergent of your choice, do cutlery first, then follow on with crockery and finally pans. Change the water if it becomes too greasy – this will occur if you’ve done some heavy duty cooking.

Check your dishcloth – does it smell dubious? It should be rinsed through with a handful of washing powder from time to time – otherwise you’ll be making dishes dirtier as you wash them! Some people like to wash it each time they use it.

Don’t wash up in the early hours of the morning – the effects of tiredness and alcohol may mean you drop precious things like glasses and plates which are expensive to replace.